Oscars 2020: 'Parasite' wins Best Picture and Director in historic foreign language movie sweep

Parasite has become the first film not in the English language to win Best Picture at the Oscars – with Bong Joon-ho also nabbing the Best Director trophy.

Both wins were considered to be major upsets, with First World War drama 1917 and its director Sam Mendes anointed as frontrunners for several weeks.

The cast and crew of Parasite flooded the stage in the final moments of the Academy Awards telecast, with the Hollywood audience yelling for them to be given more time when the spotlight moved to presenter Jane Fonda for the end of the show.

Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho celebrate before going on stage to accept the award for best picture for "Parasite"at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho celebrate at the Oscars before going on stage to accept the award for best picture for Parasite. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Producer Kwak Sin-ae called the victory “a very opportune moment in history” and said the team “never imagined this to happen”.

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Parasite also emerged as the big winner overall on the night, leaving with four awards — ahead of 1917’s three.

Joker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Ford v Ferrari/Le Mans ‘66 all won two prizes.

Bong Joon-ho at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Bong Joon-ho at the Oscars. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Joon-ho beat frontrunner Sam Mendes for 1917 as well as A-list names Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) to win the Best Director award.

Todd Phillips was also nominated for Joker, giving the category some box office clout with the addition of the most profitable comic book movie ever made.

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The Korean filmmaker behind Snowpiercer and Netflix’s Okja used his speech to heap praise on his fellow nominees.

He said: “When I was in school, I studied Martin Scorsese films. Just to be nominated was a huge honour, I never thought that I would win.

“When people in the US were not familiar with my film, Quentin always put my films on his list. Quentin, I love you.

"And Todd and Sam, great directors I admire. If the Academy allowed, I would like to get a Texas chainsaw, split the trophy into five and share it with all of you."

A still from Bong Joon-ho's Parasite. (Curzon)
A still from Bong Joon-ho's Parasite. (Curzon)

Parasite, which tells the story of a poor family who con their way into working for a wealthier household, was the first Korean film to even receive a nomination from the Oscars.

The success of 1917 at precursor awards including the Producers Guild of America Awards and the Directors Guild of America Awards made it seem likely that the British drama would emerge victorious.

However, the support for Parasite was strong enough for it to achieve what last year’s Roma could not and become the first ever foreign language Best Picture winner.

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Other big winners on the night included Joaquin Phoenix as Best Actor for Joker and Renée Zellweger for Judy.

Brad Pitt and Laura Dern each won their first acting awards in the supporting categories.

The 92nd Academy Awards took place overnight at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.